MI teacher suspended after classroom activity comparing Obama to apes

Michigan teacher is suspended after including photo of Barack Obama in a class about apes, monkeys and lemurs and asking pupils to spot the primate

  • Roeper’s High School in Birmingham suspended the Asian Pacific biology female after her failure to ban the classroom activity caused outrage 
  • The teacher at the $30,000-a-year school said she downloaded the worksheet from Duke University’s website and inadvertently handed it out
  •  The activity asked 30 students to spot the primate. Among the pictures displayed were apes, monkeys, lemurs and a photo of the 44th POTUS
  •  The worksheet was created by undergrad graduates at Duke in 2010, just a year into Obama’s presidency, and has since been removed from the website
  • A Michigan high school teacher has been placed on administrative leave after she gave students a worksheet that compared Barack Obama to apes, monkeys and lemurs. 

    The Roeper School in Birmingham suspended the Asian Pacific biology female after her failure to ban the classroom activity, deemed racist and biased, caused outrage among parents and city officials. 

    The teacher at the $30,000-a-year school said she downloaded the worksheet from Duke University’s website and inadvertently handed it out.

    The activity asked 30 students to spot the primate. Among the pictures displayed were apes, monkeys, lemurs and a photo of the 44th POTUS

    The worksheet was created by undergrad graduates at Duke in 2010, just a year into Obama’s presidency, and has since been removed from the website. 

    ‘It made me feel disgusted – I couldn’t believe it,’ Roeper’s director of diversity at Carolyn Lett told Fox 2. ‘When I first saw it, I’m trying to make sense of it myself.’ 

    ‘When this was brought to her attention she was horrified herself, and almost like beating herself up, like ‘How did I miss this,’ she added. ‘That’s how she explained it.’ 

    The Roeper School in Birmingham suspended the Asian Pacific biology female after her failure to ban the classroom activity, deemed racist and biased, caused outrage among parents and city officials

    The Roeper School in Birmingham suspended the Asian Pacific biology female after her failure to ban the classroom activity, deemed racist and biased, caused outrage among parents and city officials

    The activity asked 30 students to spot the primate. Among the pictures displayed were apes, monkeys, lemurs and a photo of the 44th POTUS

    The activity asked 30 students to spot the primate. Among the pictures displayed were apes, monkeys, lemurs and a photo of the 44th POTUS

    The school is the oldest independent institution for gifted children in America, its website says. It was established by two immigrants who escaped the holocaust.

    Roeper put out a statement addressing the controversy and apologizing for not banning the activity and exposing students to it. 

    The statement read: ‘On behalf of Roeper School’s leadership, we want to acknowledge the disturbing racial offense contained in an assignment with an upper school class last week. 

    ‘The choice to use this piece of curriculum was completely inconsistent with our School’s philosophy and mission and we sincerely apologize for its use and the harm it has caused.’

    ‘While the teacher has taken responsibility and admits the mistake of not properly vetting the resource, we know that is not enough and she has been placed on administrative leave until further notice.’ 

    ‘It is made all the more challenging for us because it is the antithesis of who we are as a school,’ chair of Roeper Board of Trustees Clay Thomas also told Fox 2. 

    'It made me feel disgusted - I couldn't believe it,' Roeper's director of diversity at Carolyn Lett said. 'When I first saw it, I'm trying to make sense of it myself.'

    ‘It made me feel disgusted – I couldn’t believe it,’ Roeper’s director of diversity at Carolyn Lett said. ‘When I first saw it, I’m trying to make sense of it myself.’

    The school was forced to close on Thursday after receiving threats online and police were called when students returned to the classrooms.  

    Officials have insisted that the worksheet was used in the classroom as the result of a mix-up and that the teacher did not intend to do so. 

    But the excuse has been received with skepticism from city officials and parents who said the activity should have been reviewed previously. 

    ‘May I remind everyone that this was an actual assignment that had to be downloaded by an administrator or educator, had to be looked at reviewed, vetted and then actually assigned to students,’ TYT guest Dr. Richey said about the incident. 

    Roeper has reiterated apologies and stood by the school’s diversity standards.  

    ‘We value the voices of all members of our community. We continue to work at creating an environment that is safe and welcoming to all- a place where everyone feels represented and heard,’ reads the section on the website.